Permanent Loc extensions are one of the trendiest hairstyles in the recent past. With the plethora of loc styles, permanent loc extensions have become a versatile way to wear your hair. In this article, we will discuss everything about permanent loc extensions.
What Are Permanent LOC Extensions?
Permanent LOC extension is a hairstyle that uses hair extensions to convert loose natural hair into natural looking locs or extend the length of existing locs. The technique uses human hair or synthetic threads as hair additions. The threads are woven or crocheted in the hair to achieve locs of different lengths and diameters and are meant to give hair more volume and length.
Permanent loc extensions installation depends on:
- the length of the hair. People with short, medium-length, or long hair can install permanent loc extensions. However, the hair should be at least 2 inches long.
- and the texture of the hair.
Permanent loc extensions work on all types of hair as listed below.
Can Loc Extensions Be Really Permanent?
Loc extensions can be permanent, especially if using human hair extensions.
There are two types of loc extensions:
- Human hair loc extensions
- Synthetic loc extensions
|Human hair loc extensions
|Synthetic loc extension
|More expensive to purchase
|Do not have to be removed. They are permanent and last as long as you desire to keep them. They only need trimming as the hair grows.
|They do not last more than three years and may need to be removed and replaced.
|It is possible to do color treatment on Human hair loc extensions
|They come in different colors and cannot be dyed.
|Look more natural.
|Synthetic loc extensions may not look as natural as human hair loc extensions.
|They are light on the hair.
|Depending on the size of the locs, synthetic loc extensions are heavier on the hair.
Permanent loc extensions take at least three months for the hair to matt and form into a loc. It takes 1-2 years for the locs to mature.
How To Install Permanent Loc Extensions?
Permanent loc extension installation takes 6-12 hours. The time taken depends on:
- The size of the loc extensions
- Hair density
- And the number of extensions
For best results, the installation should be by a qualified and experienced loctician.
- Part hair into small sections.
- Create the base of the loc using a braid. The braid is from your natural hair. The thickness of the braid determines how thick or thin your loc will be.
- Install the permanent loc extension. Wrap the loc around the braid. The loc extension should fully cover natural hair.
- The more layers the loc extension has on the hair determines the thickness of the loc.
- The end of the loc is sealed by either burning it for synthetic hair or carefully tacking the ends for human hair loc extensions.
Can You Remove Permanent Loc Extensions?
Yes, you can remove permanent loc extensions.
There are two ways to remove permanent loc extensions:
- Cut them off: Cut off the loc at the point where the loc extension joins the natural hair.
- Unravel the loc extensions.
How To Unravel Permanent Loc Extensions?
- Rat comb
- Spray bottle
- Crochet needle
- Oil-olive, coconut, shear butte or almond oil.
Step by Step Procedure
- Mix one-third of the conditioner with two-thirds water. Have this in a spray bottle.
- Put the hair in a bun or hold it up in the middle of the head.
- Pull one loc at a time.
- Snip the end with scissors. Avoid cutting too much length of the loc as you may cut off your natural hair, especially if you have long hair.
- Unravel the loc from the tip towards the hair root. Unravel gently and do not pull the hair out of the loc to avoid breaking the hair. Use a rat tail comb or a crochet needle when necessary to do the unraveling.
- Once you remove the loc extension from the hair, undo the braided or twisted hair underneath. Do this gently to avoid hair breakage.
- If the locs have stayed on for long, the hair might be tangled and matted. Untangle the hair gently using your fingers. Start from the tips and work toward the roots.
- Spray the hair with the conditioner. Start from the roots and work towards the tip of the hair. Soak all hair strands with the conditioner.
- Continue detangling using your fingers.
- Once the hair is completely detangled, apply the oil to seal in the moisture.
- Repeat steps 3-10 for all the locs on your head.
- Shampoo your hair using a highly moisturizing shampoo and condition using a protein and moisture deep penetrating conditioner.
- Style as desired.
Permanent Loc Extensions Pros and Cons
- Permanent loc extensions are an excellent way to transition from relaxed hair without cutting the processed hair ends. It also protects chemically processed hair from breakage and damage.
- Low maintenance. After installing permanent loc extensions, there is minimal care, meaning less shampooing and styling.
- For people with short hair or who need more length, permanent loc extensions give hair the desired hair length. Loc extensions come in various lengths.
- Permanent loc extensions add extra volume to the hair. For people with less voluminous hair, or thin hair, installing locs with a bigger diameter makes hair appear more voluminous.
- Permanent loc extensions keep the hair from breakage and damage from constant styling and combing.
- It helps grow your hair. Installing permanent loc extensions allows hair to grow without much manipulation.
- They protect the hair from split ends. Split ends occur from frequent hair manipulation like combing and styling. Permanent loc extensions wrap the hair and protect it from daily manipulation hence less chance of split ends.
- It is a long-term protective style. The wrapped hair under the loc extensions protects it from losing excess moisture.
- They help to grow the hair to the desired length. We lose hair length during hair manipulation and styling. With permanent loc extensions, the hair has less manipulation and grows to its maximum.
- Permanent loc extensions can add extra weight to the hair, especially if they are long and bulky. The weight on your head might be uncomfortable and may cause tension hair loss.
- They can be hard to style immediately after installation and before the hair locs.
- Lack of proper moisturization may cause scalp itch and discomfort.
- Some people react to synthetic hair additions and may suffer from contact dermatitis on installing synthetic loc extensions.
How Much Are Permanent Loc Extensions?
Permanent loc extensions cost between 300-800 USD. Different factors affect the cost of permanent loc extensions:
- The location from where you are purchasing them from
- the quantity
Where To Buy Permanent Loc Extensions?
One can purchase permanent loc extensions from:
- beauty stores
- online stores
The most popular places to buy permanent loc extensions are:
How To Care for Permanent Loc Extensions?
Permanent loc extensions are low maintenance; however, they require proper care to keep the hair healthy and in good condition.
Below are a few tips to care for permanent loc extensions:
- Regularly repair weak areas and new hair growth, unraveled sections, or areas where the loc extensions have slipped at least after every 2-3 months.
- While repairing, avoid tight twisting or crocheting. The tension caused by excessive strain could lead to traction alopecia or cause hair thinning along the hairline.
- Avoid excessive oiling and the use of too many products on the loc extensions. Build-up from products can cause the scalp to get itchy and the hair to appear dirty.
- Sleep in a satin headgear or on silk pillows. The silk or satin material helps preserve the moisture in the hair. Materials such as cotton suck out hair moisture and cause dryness.
- Shampoo the loc extensions after 4-6 weeks of installation.
- Shampoo the hair at least once a week. Deep condition the hair using protein and moisture treatment. It helps remove dirt and impart moisture and strength to the hair. If you have to clean the hair more times, use a dry shampoo.
- After shampooing your locs, allow them to dry completely before styling. Styling wet hair can encourage an unpleasant odor on your loc extensions.
- Air dry your loc extensions and avoid heat.
- Moisturize with light oils. Mix a third of light oil like olive oil in two-thirds of the water. Using a spray bottle, spray the mixture evenly on the loc extensions ensuring that all locs get the oil. Allow the hair to dry before styling as stated above.
- Regular moisturizing keeps itching and flaking at bay.
- When coloring your human hair loc extensions, color one or two locs first to establish how the locs and your hair reacts to the color before coloring the whole head.
- Do not do color treatment on synthetic loc extensions. Synthetic loc extensions are made from synthetic hair that does not process in color treatment. They come in a wide variety of colors. Buy and install locs that have your desired color instead of attempting to color after installing.
My Take on Permanent LOC Extensions as a Trichologist:
Permanent loc extensions provide a long-term hairstyle that allows easy styling with less hair manipulation. However, I strongly recommend you check your hair condition before installing the permanent loc extensions, ensure that the hair is healthy and in good condition.
As much as loc extensions help add more volume and length to thin hair, they cannot resolve underlying scalp conditions that possibly cause hair thinning. Hair conditions such as androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium, present with hair thinning on the vertex or diffuse thinning on the scalp.
One other important observation. Lack of proper moisturization could cause flaking and itching after permanent loc installation. One of my client reported this after installing the LOC extensions.
On the other hand, flaking and itching could also result from several scalp conditions. Dandruff, psoriasis, and inflammation are examples of flaky conditions that might warrant specialized attention.
In summary, permanent loc extensions are one of the trendiest hairstyles that if installed correctly and properly maintained, give you months of good hair days with less styling.